Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis, IN

Creating Beauty in the Circle City

In 2014, thanks to a generous grant from the KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) created the Westminster Pocket Park on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Partnering with our local Lowe’s store and 17 Lowe’s Heroes, KIB was able to create an amazing community asset.

The vision for the Westminster Pocket Park is to become a vibrant community gathering place, an outdoor sanctuary for clients of all ages. Features such as sculpted benches and art will encourage community members as well as residents of the Westminster Neighborhood Services Adult Services Center to linger—enjoying the beauty of nature and learning about the benefits of native plants to the environment. Due to the large number of seniors living in the surrounding community, the Westminster Pocket Park is a “senior-friendly” greenspace where residents of all ages can gather and interact in a safe space.

In the fall of 2014, KIB hosted a check presentation event to commemorate the space and kick off the Lowe’s volunteer day. Volunteers quickly got to work, prepping the site for the functional art, and helping to plant thousands of native grasses. All of this work will provide accessible greenspace and help bring neighbors together, serving as a green destination to revitalize a neighborhood where vacant lots are plentiful and greenspace scarce.

Now that this space is complete, all that’s left is for the plants to bloom next spring, hopefully in time for the completion of the adjacent Adult Services Center, and then we will start to see increased use of the space by the community!

Montgomery Clean City Commission, AL

Montgomery Clean City Commission (MCCC) has been busy, busy, busy during the months of October and November working on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Voting March. In March 2015, the eyes of the world will be on Montgomery, Ala., as the capital city celebrates this historic event. MCCC is doing everything in its power ensure Montgomery is looking good.

With the help of a KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant, one of our projects was painting and roofing a home along historic Oak Street and providing the Loveless Community Center with a facelift. To further enhance the streetscape of Oak Street, the path the marchers took into Montgomery from the St. Jude’s campsite, 35 red bud trees have been planted along the street, also a component of the Lowe’s/KAB grant.

This work was done with the help of volunteers from all walks of life: students, military, community service workers, City of Montgomery employees, staff from House to House and members of Rebuilding Together. Just as the citizens of Montgomery are pulling together to celebrate this momentous event, the citizens of Montgomery pulled together to realize the dream of beautifying and uplifting this significant neighborhood.

Montgomery Clean City Commission is grateful for the help and inspiration provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Keep Virginia Beautiful, Richmond, VA

Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) used a KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant, in addition to support from MeadWestvaco, to produce its fourth year of “30 in 30″ grants. The grant program saw KVB award grants to schools, parks, towns, organizations, universities and other organizations all across Virginia to help build vibrant communities!

Keep Vienna Beautiful, Vienna, GA

Keep Vienna Beautiful (KVB) recently received a $20,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant. The funds were used to refurbish and beautiful George Busbee Park and Ruth Ryner Lay Tennis Court. The grant money was used to replace sod, trees, refurbish the park gazebo, refurbish the playground, and tennis court fence. The goal was to refurbish the existing facilities to entice local citizens as well as travelers to utilize the facilities and enjoy the park located adjacent to downtown Vienna — to make it one of Vienna’s showplaces for all to enjoy.

The playground area really needed the mulch to be upgraded so that children could enjoy the equipment and their parents wouldn’t be worried about them falling on the hard ground. The new PVC piping around the perimeter of this area and the cedar chip mulch make it a much safer area for our children, stated Larista Thompson, Executive Director of KVB.

The gazebo has been rewired so that the facility will be accessible at night for those wanting to have after-dark activities in the park. A new roof was also installed on the gazebo and preservative paint was used on all exposed areas of the gazebo.

This has been a very rewarding project for KVB as well as the City of Vienna. A special thanks to Keep America Beautiful, Lowe’s, Keep Vienna Beautiful, City of Vienna Public Works Department, Mayor and City Council for their contributions to the success of this project.

Keep Pike County Beautiful, McComb, MS

Thank you for the $10,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant awarded to Keep Pike County Beautiful in McComb, MS! Without it we could not have built our above-ground, organic garden at St. Andrew’s Mission in McComb, which serves Southwest Mississippi through its Food Pantry, Men’s Shelter and Soup Kitchen.

The Garden has also been a teaching model for the Jr. Garden Club, called the Busy Bees, who helped to do the initial planting of our fall/winter crop and helped with the first harvest. Thanks to the Boy Scouts for helping to build it. We are hoping that the Garden will be a model for more to come!

Keep Las Vegas Beautiful, NV

Keep Las Vegas Beautiful (KLVB) team members along with Lowe’s Heroes volunteer employees, teachers and students successfully installed Outdoor Garden Classrooms at three local elementary schools, thanks to a $20,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant awarded to KLVB .

KLVB selected schools in need of garden projects which are qualified Title One schools with at least 90% of the students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Schools selected for the KLVB Outdoor Garden Classrooms are also located within City of Las Vegas’ Neighborhood Risk Assessment Program areas. This program is a coordinated approach to identifying targeted neighborhoods that can be revitalized based on a strategic and collective focus of resources and programs.

Each school received up to five 8’ x 4’ raised beds with soil, seeds, automatic drip irrigation and a year of maintenance. In addition, the schools will get weekly visits from a local farmer, who will teach students and teachers how to take care of the garden, plant and harvest, as well as a free curricula for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lessons concurrent with Nevada State Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards along with free teacher training. The program also organizes visits from local chefs to demonstrate how to cook food from the garden, teaches students how to organize and run a farmers’ market, and offers a Junior Master Gardener’s program.

City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful

The City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful received a $10,000 Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant to revitalize Clarke Park, a municipal park located in one of Hammond’s older and lower-income neighborhoods.

About 20 volunteers and City employees assembled in the park on a cloudy December day just after Thanksgiving to plant a new garden near the front of the park, restore a natural buffer between active and passive parkspaces, and install picnic tables, park benches, and a new water line in the park. City employees also replaced sprinklers within the park’s baseball field.

The picnic tables will provide families a place to gather to celebrate holidays, neighborhood and community events, reunions, and birthdays. Park benches will offer visitors, especially, seniors, places within the park to sit, comfortably relax, and watch their grandchildren play—or simply enjoy the outdoors. And the water line will make maintaining park grounds easier—in addition to permitting the installation of an outdoor drinking fountain for playgroundgoers.

Neighbors of Clarke Park and residents of the surrounding community have been quick to compliment the City of Hammond, Keep Hammond Beautiful, and volunteers on the work that was done.

For his part, the outgoing Mayor of Hammond, Mayson Foster, is also quick to express his and his city’s gratitude for the Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful partnership that made the improvements to Clarke Park possible.

“It’s made a real difference here,” he observes, surveying the completed project, “and we couldn’t be happier.”

KEEP SOUTH MIAMI DADE BEAUTIFUL, MIAMI, FLORIDA

Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Improvement/Keep South Miami Dade Beautiful provided the following materials for the improvement of Pinetree Park – Community Garden.
• 2 rolls of liners (weed barrier)
• 8 packs of pins to hold down the liner (weed barrier)
• 117 brickface stone
• 85 planters to be used on the community garden
• 10 raised planter bases for ADA accessibility
• Warning track for the alleys between planters